RPI hosts Welcome Festival for freshmen class
TROY, N.Y. » More than 1,000 freshmen from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute walked from the Louis Rubin Memorial Approach steps on 8th Street to William D. Chamberlain Riverfront Park on Tuesday for a welcome festival.
The festival is part of the college’s “Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond,” a program started in 2001 to make incoming students feel at home on the campus and see there is much more to it than academics.
With 1,796 freshmen students, officials said this year’s freshmen class is the largest in the school’s history.
President Shirley Ann Jackson greeted students as they walked down the steps and headed down Broadway and Third and River streets to the park.
The college’s pep band helped welcome the freshmen as they walked past Monument Square in downtown Troy.
Once all of the students arrived in the park they were then greeted by Jackson, Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, along with some upperclassmen.
“I just shook hands with most of you at the top of The Approach and you might wonder why I would do that. Well, first of all, it’s important for me to greet each of you as you come
and I will at least shake your hands — all of you — when you graduate, as I hand you your diploma,” said Jackson to the students.
Madden, who is also a member of the college’s board of trustees, welcomed the students and invited them to enjoy all that the city has to offer.
“While you’re here please become a part of our community, we have much to offer you, we are a city with a rich history of culture, in-
dustry and inventiveness, a good deal of which is linked to [RPI],” Madden said to the students.
After hearing from everyone at the podium, the students were then treated to a buffet style of food set-up in the park and were able to enjoy some music entertainment. The students were also able to interact with each other and college officials during the Welcome Fest.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute freshmen stand near a water spray area in William D. Chamberlain Riverfront Park on Tuesday. From left are Angela Buras of Boston, Elizabeth Evans of Connecticut, Victoria Prusak of Buffalo, Taylor Keyt of Conecticut and Emily Grocott of New Hampshire.